Category Archives: on the farm

a {little boy’s} room

room 2

We have been in our home for ten years this coming autumn.  In those years we have done a number of things that had to be done, and a few things that we chose to do.  As we spend most of our time on our main floor in our kitchen, living room and dining room that is where we chose to do our biggest renovations.  The other rooms- namely the bedrooms have received little attention to decor, paint or design.  However, recently we moved boys around and it was the impetus to take time to work with the boys and decorate their rooms.

One thing you should know about me is that I don’t do “decorated”.  I prefer to fill the room with things that the boys love- things that inspire them and ignite creativity and learning.  I want them to walk into their room and feel like it is their space and they enjoy spending time there.  With that in mind, we have begun the process of “doing the bedrooms”.  Currently our home is in complete disarray.  Read: total utter chaos.  Rooms have been emptied to paint, furniture can be found in the workspace off the kitchen, in the living room and the hallway.  Plastic covers pieces that can’t be moved and I have felt like it may never end.  Until yesterday.  Yesterday, I was able to put #4′s room- his first room on his own- back together again.  I had such a good time hanging maps and shelves, making his bed and sticking the stars he had begged for on his ceiling.  I waited anxiously for him to arrive after school and was thrilled to see him love it as much as I had hoped when he walked in.  Room number one- SUCCESS.

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this week {on the farm}

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Happy Saturday friends!


I took a break from the internet this week, first to celebrate #1 turning 19 (#2 and I traveled to Vancouver to visit him and had a wonderful 24 hours together).  The rest of the week was spent working on indoor projects as it has been really wet out, and then, yesterday we awoke to snow.  This is fine however as we have some exciting things coming and there is a list of things I want to get done in the house before gardening season really kicks off~

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We are working on two painting jobs right now- one in #4′s room and one in the “dorm room”- the lowest floor in the house where #s 2 & 3 are.  I am still contemplating what we will do with the spaces but have all sorts of ideas.  However I want to get the paint up first as we are making some pretty dramatic changes with regards to color and I want to see it first to make sure our ideas will work.

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I have also been working on some little projects- rewiring an existing lamp and making a new table lamp from an old vase.  It was my first foray into creating lighting and I anticipate doing more of it in the future as it is wonderful to think that I can create any look that I want with some wire and a socket!  I am already eyeing a few fixtures I dislike quite a bit…

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Mr. Taylor is away for the next 8 days so in that time I plan to keep busy working on projects and, if the weather report is correct, getting outside in the sunshine.  These lawns are in desperate need of a mowing and I still have spring pruning and weeding to get to.  And the roofs need to be cleaned off as there are the last remaining leaves that are wreaking havoc on the drains!


Have you ever made soda bread?  I want to try this.

I love making ricotta and this recipe for scones looks divine~

This makes me impatient to do our patio extension before summer.

I love an inspiring farm visit!



Have a wonderful weekend~


this week {on the farm}

this week mar 14 2013


Thanks to a wonderful suggestion by my friend Jeanne Oliver, I will be sharing what we are doing on the farm weekly.  I should warn you however that this post will not contain pretty photos.  I want this post to give you an actual glimpse into what life looks like on the farm right now.  And let me tell you, there is very little that is pretty this time of year.  The gardens are full of weeds that I have yet to clean out, due to the endless rain.  There are leaves covering much of the gardens along the drive and I have so much to cut back that still sits where it grew last summer.  Now, however it is brown and dead and needing to be removed. So, the photos below- they are what I see when I walk on the property these days.  But not for long- that I promise you!

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This week on the farm we are cleaning up the gardens and removing all of the remaining leaves and branches that came down through the winter. With bulbs coming up I want to make sure that nothing stops them from sharing their bright spring color with us.  In the pacific northwest we have a  lot of evergreen trees but we also have a number of deciduous trees such as maple, poplar, black locust and cottonwood.  We try to remove as much of the leaves as possible each autumn but inevitably there are leaves that fall and are soaked by the winter rains which need to be cleaned up come springtime.  We use the leaves to cover paths or to add to our compost which will in turn become soil for the gardens.  Even the wine barrels that we fill with color in the summer are in need of a cut back and clean out.

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I am also pruning back the old raspberry canes.  I think that the raspberries are our favorite fruit that we grow.  We use them for everything!  They make wonderful desserts, jams and jellies, they are great on salads with chevre. The boys love to come out to the gardens to simply snack on them.  We started with just a few canes in one row but now have two double rows in the lower garden pasture that we harvest from.  The majority of them are red but we have a number of golden raspberry canes as well that a friend gave to me years ago.  The grape vines which are just behind the raspberries also need to be pruned.  I use them to make wreathes in the winter for the holidays but those that aren’t cut then will need it now.


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There is nothing pretty about chez poulet this time of year.  With the damp winter months everything is soggy.  The door needs paint this summer, as do the windows, but for now we will be cleaning out the coop and filling it with fresh shavings and straw for the nesting boxes.  Usually this time of year we are getting ready to add baby chicks, but as we had quite the massacre last Autumn, I added four chicks then, as we lost most of our layers.  If I had waited until spring I wouldn’t have had many eggs until this coming Autumn and we really love our eggs.  The four new girls should begin laying any time now~

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As far as what we are seeing peek through the ground right now, there are the usual spring blooms- hellebores and daffodils.  The rhubarb is beginning to show itself- and as that is one of my favorite spring things to harvest, I am coaxing it along at every opportunity.  There are buds on the lilacs but no leaves yet.  I am hoping to clean out the garden boxes in the garden pasture as they are a mess.  As soon as they are clean and I have added some of our compost I will be getting the peas and greens planted.  I can’t wait!


{spring cleaning}



This morning I read a post by Melanie from Inward Facing Girl about making lists.  She pointed me in the direction of her friend and uber-inspiration Moorea Seal.  This weeks list is about cleansing- not only of your body but of anything that needs a clean-up.  This of course gets me very excited as I love a good purge!  So, my list for this week~  Thanks ladies!


~ go through our closets and remove anything that is no longer worn.

~ go through our kitchen cabinets and remove anything that I don’t use (even if it’s pretty!)

~ clean out and organize the boys’ school work drawer.  archive what I want to save, recycle the rest.

~ go through our dvd collection and sort out movies I can bring to the children’s home in Uganda.

~ have #4 sort through the lego collection and fill one bin that I can take to the children’s home.

~ clean out my cars!

~ clean out the refrigerator and restock with healthy options.

~ clean up my social media- only follow inspiring folks on twitter, instagram and pinterest.

~ clean out my bathroom cabinets, use up the odds and ends.

~ clean out the garden beds in anticipation for planting this summer’s gardens!

~ wash all of the curtains.

~ clean up my email, catch up on correspondence and delete anything that has no use.


loving {tap & dye}

tap & dye


Heading out of town tomorrow for a weekend of inspiration and laughter with four incredibly dear friends in Napa.  I am so excited to see them, as well as to bring my new/old camera, who happens to shoot film.  I can’t wait to capture the weekend through her lens!  Thankfully my new wrist strap from Tap & Dye arrived. I can’t tell you how much I love it.  I wanted something that looked old school and this little strap fits the bill. It would work with any camera but on my “yet to be named” newest friend, it is perfect.  You can find their facebook page here.


Now I have to find a way to get them to donate one to the Africa auction…  ;)  Happy weekend mes amies!



{the first rolls}

Recently I became friends with an old film camera.  I have to say, from the first click of the shutter I was hooked.  While I should be doing other things on this sunny afternoon, I am instead sharing some of the first shots from her.  The first really grainy shots were from the opening night at Ludlow in Seattle.  (if you haven’t been, you must!)

She hasn’t got a name yet, but she will.  She promises to be a wonderful companion~



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{now living on the farm}

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a little on our {lately}

Hello friends,

It has been crazy around here lately to say the least.  We have had some major changes on the farm which have occupied nearly every second of the day the last few weeks.  While it has been a bit stressful it has mostly been exciting and the beginning of a pretty amazing adventure.

One side effect of these changes is the excitement of planning a few projects that I have wanted to do for some time now.  As these projects have been on my mind for a few years I have collected some photos for my idea board.  First up, the french doors and deck off of our kitchen that I am dying to get put in so that we can enjoy many meals outdoors this spring, summer, and coming autumn.  I feel like I have been searching for the right doors forever and have yet to find them.  One problem may be that I can’t seem to decide on the exact look that I want…  case in point:



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And then there is what goes outside…


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(I think this last outdoor photo, minus the placement of the fireplace is currently winning…)

I also want to do something with the littles’ room, seeing as we have never done anything esthetic to their room.

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And then there are the gardens.  Over the past few years we have talked about what we would like to do with the property- hedges and gardens and running water and trees to add. I want the property to feel more private with lots of green and plants that invite birds to live here.  I want it to feel lush and quiet and peaceful.  I will be posting all sorts of things on that journey in the coming months, but for now, I am sort of loving these:


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For our family, our hearts reside in our home.  We spend a lot of time here together and we plan to be here for a very long time.  Investing our time and energy into this place is something that really gets me excited and motivates me- I hope you will come along for the journey!


{all images found on my pinterest boards.  every single time I tried to link them and save it deleted them.

Valentines {sale}

valentines sale_


Hello friends,


With Valentines being a week away I thought it would be fun to offer a Valentines discount on all the current items in tiggy & grace.  Now, I tend to think that Valentines is a little overrated myself.  However, I am a firm believer in gift giving and in gifting myself.  And what better gift than something made in America?  So head over and take 10% off your entire order, excluding postage.  This offer will expire on Valentines so show yourself and those you care about a little love and gift them something wonderful~



{come on in}

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tiggy & grace is open and stocked with some beautiful things~  hope to see you there!

{tiggy & grace} sneak peek!

I’ll be stocking the shelves tomorrow morning!


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half aprons-3


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{pottery} preview

feb preview pic



I wanted to give you a preview of what the shop will hold when we stock it early in February.  Today I thought I would post some of the pottery- some of which I am having a tough time parting with!  These bowls are rustic and wonderful and feel so good in your hands.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do~


Have a wonderful weekend friends,



nesting 3


Lately I find myself doing a lot of nesting.  It could have something to do with the fact that it has been frigid cold but so incredibly beautiful, sunshine streaming in the windows while the fire burns in the fireplace.  My heart is settled these days, more so than it has been in such a long time.


nesting 1


I have enjoyed making granola for the boys, which they love over yogurt.  You can find our favorite recipe here.


nesting 2


I think that if the weather was like this throughout the winter, I would fall in love with the pacific northwest all over again~



frosty morning {on the farm}



This morning I awoke to the brightness that comes with the morning sun reflecting off of snow on the roof. Around here that means one thing- it is going to be frigid outside.  And sure enough, when I pulled my boots and down jacket on and opened the door to let the dogs out for their morning run, that bitingly cold air immediately hit my cheeks.  I grabbed a touque as I headed out the door and into that gorgeous morning sunshine.




I love my mornings with the dogs- the stillness in the air with only the sound of (today at least) our footfalls crunching through the frozen snow.  It was so clear with only a few wispy clouds high in the sky.  As I looked up I noticed a jet- so high that if not for the contrails I wouldn’t have seen it at all.  I always wonder where it is going, where are the people on board headed.  Are they excited about going on holiday?  Do they look forward to getting home to loved ones?  Even as I write, I can hear planes overhead, flying lower, most likely landing in Seattle.  I love that many of our return flights pass over our home- I always look for familiar landmarks as we come in, excited to return to our little piece of home sweet home.


frosty morning 1


The frost on the pasture fences and along the roofline of the hen house and barn formed such beautiful crystals that, after feeding the sheep and barn kitties and melting the water for the hens, I ran back in for my camera.  We don’t often get such gorgeous cold weather here and I wanted to capture it to share.  The barn had little icicles on the metal roof, and the edge of the chicken coop had a longer one that reminded me of my childhood.  It made me happy.




I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you are.  I am looking forward to staying indoors with the sunshine streaming through the windows, eating comfort food and enjoying time with the boys I love most.





a {year} in photos & a winner

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And- the winner of the one word bracelet give-away is MARY JANE!  Mary Jane, please email me your mailing address at  and I will have it made up for you!

Happy 2013 friends,


capturing the {magic} of this holiday season

open me


We find ourselves in the midst of my favorite season of the year and yet this year, it is different.  This year I feel so much more present in the season itself, and am really embracing the quiet magic that is Christmas. Instead of getting wrapped up in the hectic shopping and commercial aspects of it this year, we are really focusing on the things that create life-long memories.  We have been exploring our property and the woods near our house and bringing in greenery that we have found to decorate.  The smell of something sweet baking in the oven has become a regular occurrence and we get excited planning what we shall bake next. We talk of goodies we can make for those we love, packaged in boxes and wrapped with twine.  We snuggle more, slow down our busy days in favor of lounging and playing legos.  We read more.


This year we are keeping Christmas simple.  Gifts will be special but there will be less of them.  Our time will be focused on baking, enjoying each other’s company, and eating good meals.  We see the value in making memories and plan to do much of that over the next few weeks.


At times I find that I am in need of inspiration when it comes to looking outside our regular holiday routine.  I don’t have to look far~


This post by my dear friend Mel completely captures my feeling of Christmas magic

I plan to try making egg nog this year

I’m already dreaming of this peppermint bark

Wouldn’t these be a great gift?

And really?  Chai tea shortbread???


In light of recent events I find myself holding my children closer, stopping to just look at them and wanting to treasure every single moment.  I seem to appreciate them in a way I had taken for granted and want to stop time to just take it all in.  My heart has been hurting and I want to do something.  I don’t know what it is specifically but I do know that I want to go forward with more kindness and compassion.  I want to make a change in honor of those innocent souls who were taken too soon.

Random acts of kindness- consider it, in tribute~



{tiggy & grace} sneak peek!

Seeing as we have to wait one more day, I thought I would share some of my favorite things from tiggy & grace, which opens at 9 am pst tomorrow morning!!











restocking {tiggy & grace}








Hello friends~

We are working hard to get the shop restocked one last time before the holidays. I am hoping to get the shop restocked for this coming Friday morning- the 7th of December.  While some of this won’t make it in time for that date (drying can take longer than I would like at times…) I wanted to share some of the beautiful pieces coming off the wheel this weekend.  Enjoy!





the {holiday} season


Happy Monday friends~

What a wonderful long weekend we had here on the farm.  Family visited, #1 returned home to celebrate and give thanks with us, 12 of us sat around the table to enjoy a feast and share what we were thankful for and the rest of the weekend was spent doing exactly what we wanted to.  For me it was a mix of outdoor projects when the sun was out and movies with my boys when it rained.  We ate all of the delicious things one eats when the refrigerator is filled with left-over turkey and fixings and pajamas were worn more often than not.  It was, in a word, perfect.



Now that Thanksgiving has passed my head is in full holiday mode.  I am excited to create some grape wreath and evergreen wreathes for the front doors and barn with things I will find on the property.  There is so much baking to do with the boys- spritz cookies and peppermint bark, meringues and sugar cookies, and let’s not forget how much I adore anything with molasses!  A tree will be cut, decorations will be brought in from the barn, and Christmas music will play- although that already began this weekend.

I am also finding holiday joy and inspiration in a few other ways this season.  My thoughts have been drawn to alternative ways we can find happiness this season- by giving to others, gifting experiences rather than material items and finding joy in our time together rather than in opening a box.  This year, more than ever I want to find ways to impart love and happiness in a bigger way- by doing things that mean more than simply exchanging objects.  So, today I thought I would share the ideas I have come up with so far.  I would LOVE to hear what you think, as well as hear any suggestions that you have or things that you do with your family and friends along these lines~



~My friend Kara and a group of talented friends have created this beautiful and inspiring gift wrap guide, complete with endless ideas for wrapping your holiday parcels.  The best part?  She has generously offered to donate part of her profits to my mom’s orphanage in Uganda!  You can buy a copy or have a peek at it HERE  

~I have supported Kiva for some time now, and have a number of entrepreneurs around the world that I have assisted in getting themselves to a better place by starting small businesses of their own.  In $25 increments you can make the difference for someone who will pay you back so that you can then pass that $25 on to another who will put it to good use.  It is an amazing cycle and something that I have loved being a part of.  I would like to gift a few people on my list a start to this wonderful program.

~Another thing I have been trying to do is gift those who could use a pick-me-up with an unexpected parcel in the mail.  I have friends who have done the same for me in the past and it always came at such a perfect time.  In an attempt to “pay it forward” I am trying to do little things to bring joy to others when they could really use a bit of happiness.  When is the last time you too part in a random act of kindness?  Trust me when I say it really does make a difference.

~One thing I love to do around the holidays is gift food.  My friend Kate does Pie-bys where she bakes pies and randomly drops them off at people’s houses.  How fabulous is that??  So this season I plan to use my 6-6 inch cake pan and make six little cakes that can randomly be dropped off in a box, frosted and ready to enjoy.  I also want to do cookie boxes for people- a little unexpected treat during the holidays~


So, those are what I have so far, but I am hoping that you will share your ideas so that I can add to mine!


{photo courtesy Lissa Whitlock and her amazing baking & photography skills}

Today I shall be celebrating- friendship, family, laughter, life in general.  42- I plan to rock this one…


{tiggy & grace}


Hello friends,

Tomorrow morning I am so excited that tiggy & grace will be opening.  I wish it was a brick and mortar.  I wish I could greet you by opening the door and welcoming you inside.  I wish I could have coffee, tea and hot apple cider to offer you, along with some delicious baked goods. I wish I could share hugs and laughter and a warm wonderful space with you.  Maybe one day.



However, tomorrow, the shop will open and I will share with you a few things that I really really love.  Each piece of pottery was hand-crafted by my sweet husband and while I didn’t do a lot, I did hand-trim a few pieces.  I stood by and asked him to make things a certain height or width, and asked for thumb indents on a few handleless mugs.  I designed the aprons and my talented sweet Auntie did all the sewing for me.  The linen was chosen for it’s soft texture and durability. And the salt- oh, that salt.  Not only is it packaged in my very favorite Weck jars, but it smells like heaven.  Well, if heaven smelled like applewood smoked salt…

So I hope you will stop by, and enjoy a virtual cup of cider, and a flakey croissant- with chocolate if you wish. And I hope you enjoy the things that are offered as much as I do.  And trust me, I will be sending virtual hugs!